For a client, finding the right colorist can be just as challenging as dating. She’ll likely come in with a list of questions for you to answer. It can be an intimidating and nerve wracking experience especially when he or she is looking for a drastic transformation. As a colorist, it’s a privilege to be trusted with another person’s image — so your consultation needs to be bulletproof!
How often do you color your hair?
Start by getting to know your new client. If they rarely frequent a salon, chances are the upkeep won’t be what they’d expect- so mapping out a timeline in the beginning will give them a more realistic expectation. Go over the process, how long it takes, the maintenance and discuss pricing.
What shampoo are you using at home?
It’s 2018, so it’s safe to say you already know what sulfates do, and the harmful effects they can have on color. Use this time to discuss what the client is currently using, gage their price point on what they feel comfortable spending, and suggest your favorite sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner to fit the budget.
Do you have a photo of what you do not like?
Sometimes sharing a picture of what you want is hard, but finding photos of what you don’t want isn’t. I’m sure we’ve all had our share of one too many pinterest photos with an unrealistic color and a thousand filters layered on top. Nowadays It’s become harder and harder for the stylist to get the ‘vision’ of what the client really wants (who doesn’t want airbrushed shiny color?) But let’s get real- if their color were not to meet their expectations what would make them dislike it? What’s the big no-no? Is it tone? Is it color placement? Building parameters like these around a color can really help you envision the end result from the beginning, and since your client may not know the technical terms, using an image to explain what they’re trying to say is the safest bet.
How do you part your hair?
Have you ever done a beautiful face frame highlight, only to watch your client flip their hair to the opposite side as they were leaving? Guilty! For more personalized color ( think balayage, or painted highlights) asking how they part their hair is KEY.
Be sure to look at them in the mirror and ask them directly how they run their hands in their hair- if you color their hair to be worn down only for them to pull it back in a ponytail you may miss the opportunity to put your personal touch around the hairline. Clients love this extra attention to detail, and it will make your color placement truly unique to them.
When is your next cut?
Whether you cut hair or not, finding out when they’re planning their next cut is crucial to their upkeep. If you’re focusing color on their ends only for them to trim it in a few weeks, chances are they’re going to take away from your work. Talk to them about coordinating their cuts with color, and suggest the two happen back-to-back.
Using these five questions during your initial color consultation can allow you to earn the trust of a new client — which is more than half the battle with color and continue a relationship with current clients. Plus, it allows you to spend most of your time perfecting their formulas and focusing on creating something that’s right out of a magazine (or, Pinterest!)